More than 500 Attend NCA Conference
One-hundred companies displayed their products and services at the trade show during the 44th annual Northeast Conference on Camping March 13-15 in Springfield, Mass. The conference brought together more than 500 people representing campgrounds in 11 states who belong to the Northeast Campground Association (NCA). The event was held at the Sheraton Springfield Hotel and MassMutual Center.
Norm Bossio, a motivational speaker from Lakeville, Mass., gave the keynote address at the luncheon on March 14. He showed how campground managers aren’t at their best if they can’t provide service with a smile and truly enjoy what they’re doing, Pat Tetrault, NCA co-executive director, told Woodall’s Campground Management.
NCA provided 18 separate seminars for members to attend during the three-day event.
Special guest speakers were Mark Anderson, owner of Camp Chautauqua in Stow, N.Y., newly elected chairman of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), and Mickey Leak, ARVC’s director of meetings and membership. Anderson spoke at the awards luncheon and at the first-time attendees luncheon. The latter attracted 45 people.
NCA also handed out several awards. They are:
Cyndy Zbierski has joined NCA as a fulltime employee and oversaw much of this year’s convention.
The event concluded with 130 members attending a pro hockey game held the night of March 15 in Springfield.
Here are highlights from the state reports that appeared in the February issue of Northeast InSites prior to the conference:
Maine: The Maine Campground Owners Association (MECOA) enjoyed “perfect camping weather” in 2007, reported Rick Abare, executive director. MECOA had a net gain of four members last year, bringing its membership to 234 campgrounds for 2008. The average number of sites is 85 and 65% are sole proprietorships. Through the end of September (end of the 2007 camping season), the MECOA website had 370,000 sessions with over 6 minutes spent per session, he reported. Libby’s Oceanfront Campground had over 10,000 visits and the 100th most popular individual page on the site had over 2,700 visits during the year. MECOA will distribute 200,000 brochures this year.
Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Association of Campground Owners (MACO) continues to work closely with the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism and its designated liaison to the association. The two agencies are undertaking joint marketing, noted Paula Carroll, co-executive director. At the NCA convention, MACO elected these new officers: President Marcia Galvin, Normandy Farms, Foxboro; First Vice President Jane Doonan, Sandy Pond Campground, Plymouth; Second Vice President Peter Daley, Circle Cg Farm, Bellingham; Treasurer Michelle Ackerman, Sodom Mountains Campground, Southwick; and Secretary Mareana Ricci.
New Hampshire: Ron and Claudette Brown handed over the executive directorship of the New Hampshire Campground Owners Association (NeHaCa) to Greg Pitman at the end of the year. NeHaCa is distributing New Hampshire campground literature at seven retail shows this year.
New York: Donald G. Bennett Jr., executive director of the Campground Owners of New York (CONY), reported that the 2008 camping directory, featuring a fresh design and printed for the first time in full color, has been very popular at the season’s early camping and RV shows. Bennett recognized Janine Paddock for her six consecutive years as CONY’s president, three years longer than any president has served in CONY’s 44-year history. The CONY board also voted to induct Al Kaufmann as the 10th member of CONY’s Hall of Fame. Al and his wife, Gladys, owned the Upper Delaware Campground in Calicoon, N.Y., for many years. CONY’s spring zone meetings begin March 31 and conclude April 3.
Pennsylvania: The 2008 Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) Directory is now being distributed and foreshadows a busy camping season, according to Beverly Gruber, executive secretary, who recently marked her 25th year in this position. New PCOA members are Clayton Park Recreational Area in Lake Ariel, Pa., and Dingman’s Campground in Dingman’s Ferry, Pa. New owners at Countryside Family Campground are Tim and Debby Cartmell.
Vermont: The Vermont Campground Association (VCA) added the Boston show to its list of shows where it distributes its annual Vermont Guidebook. VCA continues to work with its state legislators on the campground taxation issue and to make it clear how and when a campground may evict a problem camper.